Unfortunately, the insecurity in Guayaquil has continued and deteriorated. Consequently, many schools located in the peripheral area of the city have returned to online classes in order to avoid children being exposed to this danger. Those who have no access to the Internet, often go to their neighbour’s homes and do classes with their school friends or collect worksheets from their school and return them for marking. Most of the time we continue with our planned activities as normal and try to operate the safe play spaces on a weekly basis. They are still the only places where the children enjoy a positive outdoor experience free from violence.

As part of the community, we at JUCONI Ecuador, see it as our job to support all the schools attended by 3,500 students in Socio Vivienda II and so we applied for permission from the Sub-Secretary for Education to hold a five day workshop that focused on creating and reinforcing security measures for the protection of children in schools. Thirty five teachers, who are also the risk assessment managers in their schools, participated in this five day workshop led by an expert in risk assessment and by the executive director of JUCONI. 

Those who attended, reported that not only had they gained knowledge on the most effective ways to address unexpected situations with their students but also how to offer them physical and emotional support. As a result of this workshop, a new  security protocol has been created for teachers to apply when there is an emergency or a disaster. This information has also been shared with caregivers by the JUCONI team.

Despite the complicated security situation, the children on the JUCONI programme  were recently taken on a two day camping trip and stayed in a Salesian hostel in General Villamil Playas. The objective was to encourage those present to reflect on how their own behaviour impacts on others and themselves, but through small actions, they can generate positive change. Some of the group activities that took place involved building a wood fire, having a mini football tournament and holding a talent night. All the children enjoyed sharing these experiences with each other.